A Manhattan-Set Twelfth Night, Overlooking the Hudson River, to Begin Aug. 7

News   A Manhattan-Set Twelfth Night, Overlooking the Hudson River, to Begin Aug. 7 Twelfth Night, the fourth annual open-air Harlem Summer Shakespeare production in Riverbank State Park in Manhattan, will play Aug. 7-24.

Pulse Ensemble Theatre produces the Shakespeare classic, setting it in modern-day New York City, with a multi-cultural company.

The free performances are open on a first-come, first-served basis. The park is located at 145th Street and Riverside Drive, overlooking the Hudson River.

Performances will play Thursdays through Sundays at 8 PM in the park's newly renovated amphitheatre. Audience members are invited to bring their own seat cushions.

The Pulse company's productions are known for updating the physical world of the plays while keeping Shakespeare's language intact.

"The goal is to excite and entertain a non-theatre-going audience, and inspire them with the limitless possibilities of live theatre," stated Pulse artistic director Alexa Kelly. Set in today's New York City, Twelfth Night concerns Duke Orsino, played by Sean Fredericks, who is partial to the music of Led Zepelin while Sir Toby (Richard Vernon) and Sir Andrew (Mark Hilgers) like reliving their heyday back at Studio 54. Lady Olivia (Annie Paul) practices yoga while Feste the clown (David McLellan) is a modern-day Busker.

Kelly stated, "Our production of Romeo and Juliet was loosely based on the TV show 'Law & Order' and The Tempest was inspired by 'Lost.' This production of Twelfth Night is loosely inspired by image-conscious New Yorkers obsessed with their fitness rituals."

The sets are designed by John McDermott, with lighting by Steve O'Shea, costumes by Kristine Koury and sound design by Brian Richardson. The production stage manager is Shelly VanVliet.

Raushanah Simmons, who plays Viola, appeared in George C. Wolfe's production of Mother Courage at the Delacorte Theater and played Ariel in last summer's Harlem Summer Shakespeare production of The Tempest.

The cast also includes Loren Fenton (Valentine), Nick Flemming (Antonio), R. J. Foster (Sebastian), Camille Mazurek (Maria), Justin M. Carter (Fabian), Clarence Sailor (Curio) and Brian Richardson (Malvolio).

For additional information call (212) 695-1596 or go to www.pulseensembletheatre.org.